Conscious breathing techniques
BREATHWORK AND THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
The nervous system is the master control and communication centre of the body. Every thought, action, and emotion reflects its activity. The nervous system is made up of the Somatic Nervous System (the voluntary system controlling skeletal muscle movement) and the Autonomic Nervous System (the involuntary system controlling all other body systems including heart, lungs, digestion etc).
The Autonomic Nervous System is made up of the Sympathetic Nervous System (which mobilises the body systems in a state of emergency - also known as the “fight or flight” response) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (which conserves energy and promotes non emergency functions - also known as the “rest and digest” response).
The “fight or flight” response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. This response triggers a neural response in the hypothalamus which in turn triggers the secretion of certain hormones to give the body increased strength and speed in anticipation of fighting or running.
This response was so important in the caveman days when we literally had to run from predators and works will in short doses over short period of times. However, in 2019, this response doesn’t serve us to the same extent as we are triggering it more often and over longer periods of time. On a day to day basis we respond to many stimuli in this state - eg. I haven't answered my emails, I am late for work, I have an essay due, I am stuck in traffic etc. This therefore means that most humans are living in a constant state of “fight or flight” and hence the increase in chronic stress and disease.
Understanding that your body contains two parallel nervous systems that act as a gas and brake, speeding up and slowing down the functions of the body. The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) is the brake in this analogy while the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the gas.
With the knowledge that deep abdominal breathing (among other triggers) will stimulate the vagus nerves and in turn the parasympathetic nervous system (or the “rest and digest” response), we can offer clients a simple and effortless tool to use on a daily basis to pull themselves out of this fight or flight mode and back into “rest and digest” mode. This is beneficial for mental health (feeling more grounded) but also so important for so many body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, deep tissue repair just to name a few. Breathing activities are used in clinic and are also given as support exercises to bring the client back in balance throughout their day. We offer specific techniques to energise them in the morning as well as exercises to help them unwind before going to bed.
PHYSICAL | PSYCHOLOGICAL | EMOTIONAL
Watch the following videos to learn more about breathwork - 1) Rachelle explaining breathwork 2) Ben (one of Rachelle's clients) discussing the physical benefits of breathwork
Breathwork oxygenates the body giving you a physical, psychological and emotional spring clean! It centres consciousness in the body, away from mental chatter giving you an intuitive clarity and opens the door to experiencing more of life in the present.
Breathwork is the term used to incorporate any conscious breathing technique used to take us out of “fight or flight” or stress mode by triggering the vagus nerve and switching on the parasympathetic nervous system or the “rest and digest” response.
Breathwork can help you to:
Reduce stress and anxiety
Feel more alive - present and connected
Repair deep tissue
Improve your sleep
Improve digestion and hormone balance
Shift suppressed emotions
WHAT TO EXPECT
How does a breathwork session with Rachelle work?
A breathwork session with Rachelle incorporates music and specific breathing techniques which are guided.
It is open to everyone regardless of age, ability or experience.
The breathwork itself is done lying down and goes for about 65 minutes with an extra 15 minutes of savasana (deep rest) at the end.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Wear comfortable clothes
Bring pillow, blanket yoga mat & water
Try not to eat for 2 hours before the session
** Breathwork shifts a lot of energy and can bring up raw emotions so please be sure you are aware of this and ready to embrace this shift - you'll feel much lighter afterwards !! **